Lots of money, zero support
August 3, 2009 5:57 PM Subscribe
I'm getting great scholarships, but my faculty hates me. Do I stay in grad school?
posted by anonymous to Education (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, it's another "what to do about grad school?" question, but I hope my situation is unique enough to keep things interesting.
Okay, so since I started grad school last year (my MA year; I'm entering PhD this year), I've received two very prestigious government scholarships for my work. The one I received this year will cover me for the next three years, is worth a lot of money, and is an honour few people in my field ever receive.
Sounds good, right? The problem is that I am hated in my faculty, and am considered by many to be a feckless troublemaker. This is causing me huge emotional distress, so much so that part of me is screaming to abandon school altogether, despite the huge piles of cash thrown my way. Yes, it is that bad.
It's hard to say exactly how I became branded in this manner. I swear in other facets of life I am considered congenial and likeable. But in grad school I have managed to build up an impressive cadre of enemies. Keep in mind that I still keep in touch with my profs from undergrad, who encourage me vehemently to continue my work, and I have made good contacts with faculty from other schools. But where I am studying right now I'm some sort of menace, apparently. I often wonder why that is so, but that's a topic for another question.
At the moment, nobody is willing to support the research for which I won this three-year scholarship. In fact, a prof recently wrote me a scathing screed detailing why such research would fail. It is not the first such screed. The main issues, by the way, are related to methodology; in my field, my current school goes about its research in a unique way, and any deviations from this standard are met with derision (nor is any consideration given to the fact that other approaches are worthwhile).
Opportunities to transfer to another school are slim, given my field and the limitations of my scholarship (in country only). Recently an opportunity presented itself to continue my work in a school in another country, but this plan is contingent on securing the necessary funding, which is dicey.
At the moment my main problem is this huge mental block I have with grad school. It's not easy having your own faculty repeatedly tell you what a pile of rags you are. My escape plan is not without merit, but any emotional investment in school at the moment causes considerable pain (yes, I am seeing a medical professional about this). The thought of throwing it all in the dustbin is so so tempting, but I worry about what that will cost me in terms of money and future career opportunities. Plus I'm not sure if any career would suit me as well as academia, though academia seems so sour to me at this point I'm not sure if it's worth the effort.
So, what to do? Any and all suggestions are welcome. E-mails may be sent to the temp address firstname.lastname@example.org.